Switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy and energy efficiency measures in the coming decades is the International Panel for Climate Change’s (IPCC) recommendation in its latest report.
This change is “affordable”, says the IPCC: it would knock only 0.06% off expected annual economic growth rates of 1.3%-3%, without quantifying the enormous health benefits of the lower CO2 and pollution levels.
The report – the third in a trilogy from the IPCC in recent months – was widely picked up in the press.
Some led on the need to “revolutionise the economy” (German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and French daily Le Monde)
Others led with a more alarmist take on the current situation – “Global emissions of greenhouse gases have increased to unprecedented levels despite global efforts to reduce them” said Spanish paper El Mundo – and the limited time left to act (“Only 17 years” said La Repubblica in Italy).
In the UK, there was a divergence of views, with Independent and the Guardian upbeat and focusing on renewables’ role – “Incentives to mitigate climate change are not in vain”, said the former – while the right-wind Times and Telegraph both led on fracking and shale gas “being part of the solution to global warming”.
In fact, the IPCC report only mentions gas and shale gas as an interim measure to replace coal, while stressing that long term, all fossil fuels should be abandoned.
Interestingly this morning, the Financial Times published an article on a poll in the UK showing that three times as many Britons would prefer to live close to a wind farm than to a fracking site, making the government’s plan to stop new onshore wind farm projects look even more illogical.
EWEA’s 2015 Annual Event will be held two weeks prior to the UN’s climate negotiations in Paris in November next year: more information.
By Zoë Casey